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Complaints Signposting Audit

19 January 2017

Complaints Signposting Audit - Report [ 0.68 mb]

Citizens Advice has helped over 200,000 people in the past year with energy issues; around 800 every working day. We receive almost a million hits on our energy advice pages a year - over 100 visits an hour. Clearly, consumers are not always satisfied with the service and information they receive. This report provides the details of our complaints signposting audit.

It’s therefore important that suppliers adequately signpost consumers to their complaints processes and maintain up to date information about the support services that are available to consumers. That’s why, since 2013, we’ve run regular audits to encourage suppliers to improve their performance in this regard and to provide consumers with a consistent approach, no matter what supplier they’re with.

This year, we’ve extended the audit to non-domestic suppliers for the first time, in recognition that the complaints handling regulations that place obligations on domestic suppliers also place obligations on non-domestic suppliers for micro businesses.

Our key findings are:

  • On average, domestic suppliers have improved their complaints signposting in every audit category since we conducted our last audit in 2014

  • However, this masks variable performance, with several suppliers seeing worse performance in key audit criteria

  • Scores for non-domestic suppliers are consistently worse than for domestic suppliers, with some suppliers providing almost no signposting to complaints processes and support services for their consumers at all

All suppliers have been issued with a report on the findings of the 2016 audit. As with the previous audits, each supplier is given their own scores across each communication type, with detailed suggestions as to how they can bring their communications in line with Citizens Advice specifications. Many suppliers have already undertaken to implement our recommendations.